There are a variety of roles within the Marketing industry – whether it’s working in an agency, in-house, directly with consumers or working in a business-to-business environment.
Alex Croucher has worked in the Marketing industry for several years and owns his own business, Croucher Edwards. He reveals his career tips in this interview with Jobulo.
Tell Us About Your Career Background?
After leaving school I only completed one full year at college and went on to work in sales until I was 21. I realised my passion for building websites after I started selling end-of-line retail stock on eBay. This inspired me to go back into education so I started a graphic design diploma and after two years, became fully qualified. At the age of 23 I started working as a web designer for a well-known telecoms company. This role quickly progressed into Marketing. After four successful years I moved on to a B2B (business to business) marketing agency in Portsmouth.
Why Did You Want to Work in Marketing?
I never chose to work in Marketing; it just happened! From the age of 20 I had always aspired to be a Graphic Designer. The truth is, Marketing just became part of my job role and so I embraced it. The company I worked for put me through a CIM diploma (Chartered Institute of Marketing) at Cambridge Marketing College which helped me to learn the in-depth technicalities of what makes people buy. I love the psychology behind marketing – the part that influences people to make a buying decision.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Work in the Industry?
A CIM professional qualification is almost essential, but here’s the catch; you need a degree or prior experience in a Marketing management role to get one. For anyone looking to start a career in Marketing, try CIM’s introductory certificate in Marketing. A prospective employer who sees that you have this will be sure of your dedication and willingness to further your career.
What Is More Important – Qualifications or Experience?
There are so many different opinions that I couldn’t speak for every employer, but personally I would prefer to see job experience. If a candidate came to me with three years experience in a fast-paced energetic role, and showed the right attitude and dedication, that would be preferable over somebody with all the qualifications but the wrong attitude.
You Started Your Own Marketing Company – Croucher Edwards – Tell Us More About That?
Well, we are still young. I formed the business mid-2012 after I left my previous employer, the B2B marketing agency in Portsmouth. When I was working for my last employer I kept thinking about starting my own agency for a couple of reasons. The first was job satisfaction and flexibility, and the second reason was because I knew I had the skills and ability to make it happen. I also knew that if I didn’t do it now I would probably regret it for the rest of my life.
What Is It Like Setting Up Your Own Company?
One word – amazing. Despite working more hours than ever before, I am fully satisfied. Never before have I woken up on Monday morning excited to start work. Never before have I enjoyed my work so much that I would be happy to do a 60-hour week. The flexibility is something I just can’t get enough of. Of course there are clients who I have to deal with, but if I want to take a sunny Friday afternoon off to do something nice, I simply work Saturday or Sunday to replace the lost hours.
What Does Marketing and Online Marketing Involve?
There is too much to talk about in one interview, but I will tell you what we specialise in; online marketing, website conversion and lead generation. We build websites designed to actively sell products rather than simply act as a presence for your business. We create marketing campaigns around this which generate interest and make more sales for our clients. Marketing campaigns usually include things like Pay Per Click marketing, direct mail, Email marketing and landing page marketing.
What’s The Future of Marketing and How Important is it to Organisations?
More so now than ever before. And a lot of companies are finally starting to realise this. Whilst the UK marketplace is very competitive, those who listen to their customers and interact with them in the right way will flourish. Marketing is approaching a new era of informal tone of voice, instant clarification of benefits, sustainable printing, constant information gathering by the prospective buyer, the list goes on. The companies who will be successful are those who listen to their customers. Those who push their products with a closed ear will probably fail.
Is There Much Career Progression in the Industry?
Absolutely yes. Marketing is a huge industry and there is so much opportunity to become a specialist in something. When I started Croucher Edwards I spotted a niche that makes us different from the typical marketing agency. Most agencies strive to generate more website traffic and more demand. We do the same, but we aim to help our clients convert more of this demand in to actual sales through what I call proposition architecture. So to answer your original question, the opportunities are almost endless in this industry.
What Career or CV Tips Can You Share for Someone Wanting to Work in this Industry?
Be creative. Your CV will hit an inbox with dozens, or maybe even hundreds of other CVs. A friend of mine recently helped his girlfriend spruce up her CV by adding a picture of her doing a ‘body builder’ pose. The caption below said ‘This is me trying to tense!’ As she was applying for a personal trainer job, this was quite relevant. And guess what? She got the job. Obviously this example isn’t suitable for every situation, but as I said earlier on, this is an ever-changing world and business people are more accepting of creative approaches than ever!